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Squeak the Squirrel


Published 1957
Topics animals, wexler


Shows how a gold-mantled ground squirrel at Crater Lake National Park has learned to solve problems connected with getting food. Illustrates how an animal can learn to find food that is hidden from view or out of reach.

This is one of the AV Geeks favorite films, mostly because Squeak is somewhat of a working class hero who, in spite of what obstacles "the Man" puts in his way, always perseveres.


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Run time 10:00
Production Company Churchill - Wexler Films
Audio/Visual sound, color

Reviews

Reviewer: Marzmay - - April 4, 2015
Subject: ADORABLE
I love this!
Reviewer: nolight - - September 3, 2006
Subject: nuts nuts nuts
A squirrel is getting nuts.
Reviewer: tirpider - - September 2, 2006
Subject: My wife loved this!
I got a kiss AND a hug.
Reviewer: GE_Pretzel - - May 12, 2006
Subject: A future MENSA member?
In this delightful animal psychology film, viewers are introduced to the titular squirrel as he moves about in his native environment. Squeak briefly interacts with other squirrels, reacts to his reflection in a mirror, and consumes some peanuts from the hand of a patient young girl. Shortly afterwards, however, the energetic fellow is held captive by researchers and placed into a laboratory setting complete with long pieces of string, wire screens, a glass tube, and a white box. Through the careful placement of peanuts, Squeak is given the incentive that he needs to gradually solve various puzzles set forth by the hands of an unknown individual. The film provides a sterling example of how animals that find themselves outside of their habitat can learn new skills after observing their surroundings and the potential functions of the objects in their vicinity. It would be nice to see Squeak solve a Rubick's Cube with his resourceful little hands, but he's probably need a fair amount of time to make any considerable progress.
Reviewer: Spuzz - - January 18, 2006
Subject: Animal Psychology for kids!
Interesting film that starts out as a nature film (and again, the nature film is something we see far too little of here on the archive) about a cute plucky squirrel named Squeek, who is out in the wild eating nuts and what not. Soon, we find out heÃÂÃÂs adapted to humans so much that he will eat of your hand! So thatÃÂÃÂs a good opportunity to kidnap squeak and put him in a cage to do simplistic science experiments on him! These experiments donÃÂÃÂt border beyond the ÃÂÃÂpull the string for the nutÃÂÃÂ, but itÃÂÃÂs sure curious on how this film develops.
Reviewer: dog from Nightwatch - - September 20, 2005
Subject: Cute and interesting.
A rather nice little film which looks at the learning ability in squirrels. It's amusing and informative at the same time.
Reviewer: MortyW - - August 1, 2005
Subject: Squeak the Squirrrel
Interesting, but the sound was jerky - on and off, half the time!
Reviewer: Wilford B. Wolf - - March 16, 2005
Subject: Or, creative feeding of forest animals
A rather interesting film, seemingly aimed at either late elementary or middle school students, about animal learning. The film opens by introducing a ground squirrel given the cutsey name of Squeak as he runs around the forest. While not stated in the film, the outside shots appear to be done on the eastern rim of Crater Lake in southern Oregon.

While a pleasent and jovial narrator describes the action-- much like you see in most nature films of the 1950s-- the first experiment is to show how Squeak would react to a mirror. Next, we have a young girl first feeding Squeak from her hand and then from a couple boxes (clearly violating the park rule not to feed the animals...).

Afterward, we move to a labratory, where we see Squeak in his cage/nest. He runs through a increasingly complext series of tests that involve trying to get a peanut from a tube or a string. While the lab setting is a bit unsettling and would not be tolerated today, it is still fascinating to see how much problem solving capacity animals have. Despite the slightly condescending narrator, this film remains a good demonstration of animal intelligence.

Bonus points for a really clean print quality and vibrant colors that add to the enjoyment of the film.
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